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Ask Thad: Bad days on the golf course

By |  November 2, 2021 0 Comments
(Graphic: Golfdom Staff)

(Graphic: Golfdom Staff)

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Is there a day at work that stands out as particularly bad?  

— The Golfdom Staff, Cleveland

A bad day at work on a golf course. Hmmmm, that’s a particularly loaded question. Do I talk about the morning I had 14 greens vandalized by a four-wheeler? The time the power was shut off in the shop because the club couldn’t pay the bill? The 90-degree Sunday morning where we watched an approach literally explode in front of us due to an irrigation break? The greens committee meeting where the one and only guy who hated me became my boss? All the mistakes I made? When a bee flew into my underwear when I stopped for nature’s call between 17 and 18? The long day of work where I came home to an unhappy wife asking for a divorce?

I honestly can’t zero in on a day of work that stands out as PARTICULARLY bad. One of the attributes that we all have in common as golf course superintendents is resiliency. We adapt and overcome, to borrow a phrase. I wouldn’t be who I am as a person or a golf course superintendent without all of the days I’ve had, good and bad.

The worst day on a golf course is a different story. I started in 1989 at Turkey Run Golf Course in Arcade, N.Y., working for Chuck Mayer. We got along great and quickly became close friends. I was around the course all the time learning everything I could from Chuck, whether it had to do with golf courses or life. I suspect we all knew someone like this early on in our careers. Chuck was my mentor and best friend; he convinced me to go to turf school. On Labor Day 1991, Chuck passed away while watering the par three, 7th green. I was offered and accepted his job at the funeral. I immediately drove to Turkey Run and walked the course alone. I made it as far as hole 5 and sat in the fairway and cried my eyes out. My worst day on a golf course.

Coincidentally, I’ve had two hole-in-ones in my golfing life, both on hole 7 at Turkey Run.

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